Lederhosen: Construction


Figure 1.--Through the 1940s, boys wearing lederhosen almost always wore the halter with them. The one notable exception was Hitler Youth boys. This German boy was photographed in 1958, notice thenew double zip front flap style.

The design and construction of lederhosen was quite varied. The various elenents, the halter and the especially the shorts had many varied elements and detailing alternatives. The shorts varied as to length, fron flap, pockets, cuffs and other elements. Some were plain and highly utilitarian while others could be very ornate.

Halter

Through the 1940s, boys wearing lederhosen almost always wore the halter with them. The one notable exception was Hitler Youth boys. Normally the alter was compsed of two over the shoulder narrow straps that crossed at the back. Buttons conected the halter to the shorts at front an back. In the front the shoulder straps were connected with cross pices of different sizes and shapes, usually oval. The straps had clasps which could adjust the length for proper fit as the boy got older. Commonly the cross pieces were decorated with Alpine symbols like ear and flowers. Some lederhosen are made with bib fronts rather than halters.

Belts

Lederhosen are made to be worn with a halter that holds them up. We have noticed that older boys, especially Scouts, tend to wear their lederhosen without the halter. I'm not sure why the halter is not popular with the olderr boys, perhaps they see it as a juvenile style. Often the older boys add a belt. Lederhosen do not normally come with belt loops so the belt appears largely ornamental as it does not hold up the lederhosen. The belt may have some practical purposes, especially for Scouting as a variety of items can be attached to the belt.

Shorts

Some basic information is available on the lederhosen short pants. They have come in a great variety of lengths from very short to knee length. Other variations concern the pockets and front flap. Some shorts are worn with cuffs turned up while others have no cuff or have them turned down.

Knickers

Some basic information is available on the lederhosen knivker-length pants. Like the shorts, they have come in a variety of lengths from knee-length to calf-length. Other variations are similar to the shorts and concern the pockets and front flap. There are also different kinds of hem fastenings. Lederhosen for everyday wear are predominantly the shorts style. The longer knicker-length lederhosen is ideal for colder weather but suffers from the fact that the boy is more likely to grow out of them long before he has started to get any wear out of them. They appaer tio have become more common in recent years as German and Austrian boys no longer wear short pants in cold weather. Some knicker-length lederhosen are made to traditional patterns and can come with halters for support.






Christopher Wagner






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Created: April 2, 2001
Last updated: July 31, 2001